World News Briefs For Saturday, 10 February 2018
Hello Australia!! - Trump says the wrong thing about spousal abuse - An elaborate armored car heist nets tens of millions of dollars - Oxfam denies a cover-up - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
The spousal abuse allegations against now-former White House aide Rob Porter wasn't necessarily a Donald Trump scandal - until today. The orange clown lavished praise on Porter, who was forced to leave the White House this week: "He says he's innocent, and I think you have to remember that," Trump said in the Oval Office, "We certainly wish him well. It's obviously a very tough time for him. He did a very good job while he was in the White House," and, "We hope that he will have a wonderful career." Trump expressed no sympathy for the two ex-wives and a girlfriend who said they were beaten by Porter - in fact he didn't mention them at all. It's the latest in a long line of seemingly knee-jerk defenses that Trump has offered for associates accused of abusive behavior towards women.
Much of the stench of the Rob Porter scandal is wafting around his former boss, Chief of Staff John Kelly. Senior aides including Kelly knew about the allegations against Porter for many months. And even after photos of one of Porter's ex-wives sporting a black eye emerged, Kelly didn't urge him to resign or ask for his resignation - he released a statement praising Porter's "character". It wasn't until the news reports sparked outrage among Republicans and Democrats across the country that the White House attitude towards Porter changed. Still, the White House is strongly denying a report from ABC News in the US that Kelly offered to resign.
But, another administration member is out the revolving door at the Trump White House - Rachel Brand is leaving the US Department of Justice after just nine months. She abandons the DOJ's number-three spot, meaning that she 'would' have been the person overseeing the investigation into Russian influence over Trump's presidential campaign and administration - if something were to happen to her immediate superior Rod Rosenstein, whom Trump reportedly loathes. No reason was given for her departure. And it comes as a big surprise in the DC Beltway, because the administration appeared to have been building her up for bigger things.
Thieves made off with 30 Million Swiss Francs, more than AU$40 Million, in a brazen robbery. The bad guys kidnapped the adult daughter of an armored car driver from her home in Lyon, France. They they called the driver who was hauling cash on a highway toward Lausanne, Switzerland, and directed him into a parking lot where armed and masked accomplices were waiting in a Porsche SUV. They made off with the money, and the kidnappers released the woman on a roadside back in France. "We can say that we are dealing with extremely organized people, who had prepared and planned the attack, and investigators are taking this into account," a Swiss official said in the understatement of the year.
Russia arrested several scientists at a top secret nuclear warhead factory for using some of the world's most powerful computers to mine Bitcoins. The computer wasn't supposed to be connected to the Internet at all for security reasons, and the greedy scientists tripped a series of internal warning systems when they tried to go online.
Mexico City cops captured the leader of the notorious Zetas drug cartel. US authorities offered a US$5 Million reward for Jose Maria "Z-43" Guizar Valencia for "importing thousands of kilograms of cocaine and methamphetamine to the US every year". Drug cartel violence killed more than 25,000 people in Mexico last year.
One of the world's best-known charities Oxfam is denying allegations it covered up the use of prostitutes by its aid workers in Haiti. The charity said it publicly announced an investigation when allegations first surfaced in 2011, however: "The behaviour of some members of Oxfam staff uncovered in Haiti in 2011 was totally unacceptable, contrary to our values, and the high standards we expect of our staff," said a spokesperson. This would have happened as Haiti was still on the back foot after one of the most devastating earthquakes ever in 2010, a disaster that killed more than 200,000 people in the impoverished country.
A South African court found a preacher guilty of assault for spraying insecticide over the faces of his flock in a bizarre religious ritual. Lethebo Rabalago for some reason claimed bug spray cured AIDS and cancer.
Baby Giraffe Alert! Baby Giraffe Alert!! At the Kansas City Zoo in western Missouri, USA.